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Gov. Quinn Announces "Welcome Home Illinois" Mortgage Program

On April 1st, Governor Pat Quinn announced a new state mortgage program, Welcome Home Illinois, to help make homeownership a reality for Illinois’ first-time home buyers. The program provides $7,500 in down-payment assistance with an interest rate as low as 3.99 percent for a secure, 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

"Welcome Home Illinois will provide more opportunities for people across Illinois to have their chance at homeownership,” Governor Quinn said. “Homeownership and home-buying are essential to our economy.”

Governor Quinn briefed REALTORS® on the program which is administered through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA)--at a special meeting with the Illinois Association of REALTORS® leadership at the IAR headquarters in Springfield on April 1st.  Illinois REALTORS® from across the state were in Springfield for the 38th annual IAR Capitol Conference held that afternoon.

The Welcome Home Illinois program provides individuals and families across the state with a unique opportunity to purchase a home without a large down payment. Many first-time homebuyers have been pushed out of the home purchase marketplace since 2010 due to debt-to-income restrictions and larger down-payment requirements. Since 2008, the percentage of first-time homebuyers has decreased dramatically; according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR), first-time buyers made up only 21 percent of total home purchases in 2013, well below historic norms that are closer to 40 percent.

The program makes it possible for the majority of first-time buyers or anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years in Illinois to meet the qualifications for down payment assistance. Welcome Home Illinois is tailored for the majority of first-time homebuyers—with borrower income limits up to 140 percent of the area median income (AMI), or $106,120 for a family of three or more in Cook County and $82,915 for a family of three or more in Springfield. The home buyer must also have a credit score of at least 640.

The program offers a forgivable loan of $7,500 that is secured by a second mortgage to help with down payment or closing costs. The borrowers must contribute the greater of one percent of the overall purchase price or $1,000 toward the down payment.

Welcome Home Illinois Program Facts at a Glance:

    • $7,500 cash assistance to cover down payment
    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a below-market interest rate
    • Variety of loan options to choose from, including FHA, Conventional, VA, and USDA 
  • Eligibility:
    • Buyers must be first-time homebuyers or anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years.
  • Requirements:
    • Contribute one percent or $1,000 of the purchase price, whichever is greater
    • Purchase a one- or two- unit property within Illinois
    • Live in property as primary residence 

Welcome Home Illinois is open to qualified Illinois first-time homebuyers on a first-come, first-served basis. The program is funded through Illinois Jobs Now! and the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund. In addition to creating homeownership opportunities, the Welcome Home Illinois loan will stimulate statewide economic activity and will generate an estimated:

  • 1,500 full-time jobs.
  • $50 million from real estate-related industries.
  • More than $40 million in economic activity for the state.
  • Additional $16 million in other statewide spending.

Learn more at:


Tuesday, April 1, 2014/Categories: News Releases